Overview

Last Updated: Sep 23, 2022

Infertility: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

About Types Symptoms Is light period a sign of infertility? Causes Masturbation cause infertility Prevention Diagnosis and Tests Complications Home Remedies Diet Follow Diet Unfollow Treatment Treatment without surgery Medicines Surgery Recovery Price Results Eligibility Ineligibility Post-treatment Guidelines Side Effects Outlook

What is Infertility?

What is Infertility?

Characterized by the inability to conceive, infertility is a condition of both male and female reproductive systems. Infertility is defined by a couple’s inability to conceive within a time period of 12 months or more. Infertility may be caused due to numerous possible reasons in both men and women. Still in some cases, determining the exact cause of infertility may not be possible.

What are the types of infertility?

Infertility is of two main types of infertility:

  • When an individual has never achieved a pregnancy before is unable to conceive, they have primary infertility.
  • When an individual has already achieved one or more than one pregnancies in the past but is now facing difficulties in conception, they have secondary infertility.

Infertility Symptoms

Infertility may have no definite visible symptoms, except the inability to conceive. Infertility symptoms may also depend on the cause. In case of women, for example, a few symptoms of infertility are:

  • Irregular, painful, or heavier/lighter than usual flow
  • Too heavy or too light flow during menstrual cycle
  • Hormonal changes such as acne flare-ups, weight loss or gain
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Issues with sexual function, such as sex being painful, reduced sex drive

And male infertility symptoms may include:

  • Issues with sexual performance, such as difficulty achieving an erection or ejaculation
  • Testicular abnormalities
  • Hormonal or chromosomal abnormalities
  • Below average sperm count

Is light period a sign of infertility?

A light period could indicate a uterine lining too thin to withstand a pregnancy. Light periods are also linked to menstrual problems such as polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. Although generally a light period is nothing to worry about and if you’ve always had a light flow, chances of it affecting your pregnancy are lesser. However, it is always better to consult a medical expert to help determine the cause of a lighter than average flow.

Infertility Causes

Infertility Causes

There are a number of factors that may result in infertility in both men and women.

Infertility in women may be caused by a number of reasons, such as:

  • Ovarian disorders, such as PCOS
  • Tubal disorders like blocked fallopian tubes
  • Disorders of the uterus that may be inflammatory, congenital, or benign in nature, such as fibroids endometriosis, or septate uterus
  • Autoimmune diseases, like APS
  • Pelvic infections
  • Complications in the endocrine system
  • Older than 35 years

Male infertility is also connected to a number of possible causes, such as:

  • Obstructed flow in the reproductive tract which causes difficulties in ejaculation.
  • Inability of the testicles to produce sperm due to factors such as varicoceles or other treatments like chemotherapy that may impair sperm production
  • Hormonal imbalance or abnormalities like irregular testosterone production
  • Abnormal physical conditions that cause impaired sperm quality or function.
  • Exposure to industrial chemicals or radiation

Other contributing factors, regardless of gender, include excessive alcohol or drug intake, excessive smoking, excessive weight gain or weight loss, excessive pollutants in the environment, and other environmental and lifestyle aspects.

Can masturbation cause infertility?

Masturbation does not affect the fertility of either male or female reproductive systems. Regardless of the myths about infertility, frequent masturbation is unlikely to affect your ability to reproduce.

How can you prevent Infertility?

There are surprisingly numerous ways to make simple changes to your lifestyle and work on making your reproductive health better. A few pointers to keep in mind when preventing infertility are:

  • Reducing caffeine intake
  • Preserve healthy weight to avoid hormonal imbalances
  • Maintain a wholesome and balanced diet
  • Participate in physical activity
  • Avoid excessive smoking
  • Avoid excessive intake of alcohol and drugs
  • Practice safe sex

Do

If you’re having trouble conceiving, here are a few tips to that might help:

  • Remember that there are a number of factors that may be causing a delay in conception apart from infertility.
  • Keep yourself hydrated to help your kidneys increase the amount of fertile cervical fluid in your body.
  • Keep yourself active by exercising adequately. A healthy and fit body automatically has better reproductive health and ability.

Don’t

Here are a few things to not do if you’re having trouble with conception.

  • Don’t assume the worst. It is important to consult a doctor before arriving at conclusions by yourself.
  • Don’t take any medications or over-the-counter medicines before consulting your doctor.
  • Don’t excessively intake caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs.
  • Don’t start a diet as they affect the body’s reproductive ability.

Infertility - Diagnosis and Tests

Before your doctor or clinic tests you for infertility, your sexual habits and lifestyle is reviewed wherein ways to improve your possibilities of conception may be recommended.

The unfortunate aspect of infertility treatment is that they are generally expensive and are not covered by medical plans. Lastly, infertility treatment does not guarantee that conception occurs completely successfully.

In a sufficiently fertile male, the sperm produced by the testicles is healthy with a high sperm count and has the ability to go through ejaculation and travel to the egg. In the case of women, fertility depends on the health quality of the egg, firstly. The reproductive tract must also be capable of allowing the egg to pass through the tubes, implant with the lining, and fertilize with the sperm.

Infertility tests for males

Specific tests for infertility in males include:

  • Hormone testing, in which the testosterone and male hormones of the body.
  • Semen analysis, in which a sample of the sperm is analyzed for the quality of the sperm.
  • Genetic testing
  • Imaging studies, such as an MRI, testing the vas deferens, or a transrectal or scrotal ultrasound.
  • Testicular biopsy
  • Other specialty testing

Infertility tests for females

Specific tests for infertility in females include:

  • Testing for ovulation
  • Ovarian reserve testing, which helps determine the amount of eggs that are present for ovulation.
  • Hysterosalpingography, which analyses the condition of your reproductive system including your uterus and fallopian tubes.
  • Imaging tests, such as a sonohysterogram or a pelvic ultrasound.
  • Testing of other hormones, such as ovulatory hormones and pituitary hormones.
  • Depending on specific cases, a hysteroscopy or a laparoscopy might be conducted

What are possible complications of Infertility treatment?

What are possible complications of Infertility treatment?

Some complications that may crop up while treating infertility are:

  • Multiple pregnancy, which increases the risks of experiencing problems during pregnancy, and even premature delivery.
  • Ectopic pregnancy, in which the embryo is implanted in the fallopian tubes instead of in the uterus.
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or OHSS which causes inflammation and severe pain in the ovaries.
  • Vaginal bleeding or infection may be caused due to the procedure being invasive.

As with any medical procedure, complications are always involved. It is important to know the risk factors and have an experienced medical professional by your side when opting for infertility treatment. At Pristyn Care, our medical professionals take care to the last detail to avoid all complications connected to medical procedures.

Home Remedies for Infertility

Besides specific treatment, there are things one can try from home to increase their chances of conception. Certain foods have been useful as home remedies in boosting fertility in both men and women since ages, a few of which are:

  • Ashwagandha, or Winter Cherry, helps to regulate the endocrine system and improve its functioning, as well as working on the body’s immunity.
  • Stinging nettle is said to cure uterine disorders and prevent miscarriages by helping preserve the embryo in the uterus.
  • Grape seed extract, a rich source of vitamin C, strengthens and protects the sperm and increases their lifespan.

What to eat in Infertility?

A few food items to indulge in which are said to affect fertility positively are:

  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Citrus fruits
  • Cooked tomatoes
  • Maca root
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Asparagus
  • Liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Pineapple
  • Cinnamon

What not to eat in Infertility?

A few foods to avoid if you think you may be infertile, are:

  • Trans fats
  • Low fat dairy
  • Sugar and products with high sugar content
  • Processed meat
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Soy products

Infertility Treatment

With the help of modern technology, there are numerous ways to aid those suffering from infertility. It is assumed that only the individual who is proven to be infertile goes through infertility treatment, however that is not always the case. There are times when both partners go through a combination of treatments together. The treatment plan that is best for you depends on the specific situation and the cause of infertility.

Infertility treatments include fertility drugs that aid the body’s ovulation and hormone production. At times, this may be combined with surgical procedures, the most common of which are:

  • In Vitro Fertilization or IVF, in which the ovaries’ eggs are taken and joined with the sperm in a lab. Once these fertilized eggs have turned into embryos, they are implanted into the uterus by a medical professional.
  • Intrauterine Insemination or IUI, in which sperm is collected and then during a woman’s period of ovulation, is inserted in the uterus through the means of a catheter.
  • Embryo or egg donation, in which fertilized eggs are collected from the womb of another woman and transferred into the patient’s uterus after they have turned into embryos.

Infertility Treatment without surgery

Infertility treatments that are medical in nature are the best choice for couples who have been unsuccessful in getting pregnant. A few methods of treating infertility without surgery are:

  1. Inducing ovulation through ovulation induction agents, such as gonadotropins and clomid.
  2. Treating Class I and II ovulatory disorders, which are the most common cause behind infertility in women.
  3. Monitoring and stimulating the ovulation cycle with the help of blood tests and ultrasound.
  4. Tracking ovulation with the help of vaginal ultrasound testing.

Which are the best medicines for Infertility?

A few of the best medicines to treat infertility in India are:

Infertility Surgery

Infertility surgery is much safer and hassle-free as compared to the past, all thanks to today’s modern science of assisted reproductive technology ART. The most common ART is the following:

Intrauterine Insemination or IUI

This procedure is commonly used as a male infertility treatment, where the sperm count may be low or the sperm may be slow and low quality. It is also used to help female fertility by transporting the sperm successfully despite issues such as thick cervical mucus.

Reproductive surgery

This procedure can be used to treat both male and female infertility by surgically correcting bodily abnormalities, such as blockages and scarring from endometriosis, which may be the cause of infertility. Reproductive surgery includes laparoscopic surgery for blocked fallopian tubes.

Surrogacy

Surrogates, or gestational carriers, is the name given to women who go through the pregnancy for someone else who can’t. The surrogate goes through IUI or IVF to conceive, or in some cases, uses donor eggs or sperm.

In Vitro Fertilization or IVF

This procedure is generally used for infertility in women, due to issues such as old age, scarring from endometriosis, or other such causes. It involves a multi-step process that involves the extraction of the eggs from the uterus and then fertilizing them in a lab. Once fertilized, the embryos are surgically implanted into the uterus.

How long does it take to recover from Infertility?

The cure for infertility depends on its cause. It can be cured with the help of numerous infertility treatments, including medicational treatments and surgical procedures such as IVF. However, infertility can recur and come back later in life even after conceiving once.

What is the price of Infertility treatments in India?

Infertility treatment generally is expensive as it includes multiple consultations with specialists, medication, and at times even comprehensive surgical procedures. Infertility treatment conducted with the help of oral medication may be comparatively less, with medication like clomiphene at the cost of Rs.100 per strip.

On the other hand, a surgical procedure such as laparoscopy to remove blockages in the fallopian tubes may have an average cost of more than Rs.20,000. An Intrauterine Insemination procedure is comparatively more affordable with the average cost at Rs. 10,000. More comprehensive procedures cost more. The average cost of a single IVF cycle may lie between Rs.2.75 - 4 Lakhs, Gamete Intrafallopian transfer may have an average cost of Rs. 10 - 14 Lakhs, and Intracytoplasmic sperm injection has an average cost of Rs.4 - 5 Lakhs.

Are the results of the Infertility treatment permanent?

Depending on the cause of the infertility, infertility can be permanently cured using various methods, such as medication, physical therapy, or surgical procedures. On the other hand, it may be permanent in some cases.

Who is eligible for the Infertility treatment?

As of present times, anyone who is facing issues with conception can seek infertility treatment. However, this might not always be the case every time and consulting a medical expert is highly recommended to come to the best possible choices to make to treat difficulties in conception.

Who is not eligible for the Infertility treatment?

As with most treatments, there are ones that might not suit you. For example, if you suffer from medical issues such as fibroid tumors or uterine abnormalities, IVF is not a viable treatment option. It is recommended to consult your doctor to chalk out the options and risks involved.

What are the Infertility post-treatment guidelines?

Going through extensive infertility treatments can be taxing on the body and mind. Here are some post-treatment guideline to follow:

  • Give yourself a few days to rest and relax your body and mind.
  • Take the prescribed medication regularly and punctually.
  • Invest in a folic acid supplement and have one daily.
  • Focus on keeping your diet healthy to make your body healthy and susceptible to conception.

What are the side-effects of Infertility treatments?

It is important to consult your doctor before consuming any infertility drugs. Infertility medication is meant to treat specific disorders, which is why it is crucial to know which one is right for your body. However, there are still times when side effects of infertility treatment may crop up. The most common side effects include:

  • Physical side effects, like nausea, headaches, and cramping
  • Mood swings, anxiety, and depression
  • Higher risk of miscarriage

Infertility - Outlook / Prognosis

There are several challenges surrounding infertility. Your relationships and emotional well-being may be affected. Treatments for infertility can be expensive and put a burden on your budget. The underlying cause of infertility can be identified by a doctor. This first step assists in determining the best course of action to enable you to successfully start a family. Nine out of ten couples who get fertility treatments become pregnant. Success rates change based on the infertility's underlying reason, the couple's age, and other factors. The majority of couples eventually have children, while some choose adoption. It is best to consult a medical professional for further options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • PCOS, or Polycystic ovary syndrome is among the most common causes of infertility in women. Unfortunately, it is difficult for women struggling with PCOS to conceive and they are at an increased risk of developing complications.
  • In both the male and female bodies, masturbation has no effect on the ability to reproduce.
  • Despite the myth, sabja seeds do not directly cause infertility. However, sabja seeds are not recommended to patients as they may cause other changes in the body, such as a dip in the estrogen levels, which may cause complications.
  • If a couple has been trying to conceive for 12 months or more, they are recommended to consult their doctor to get to the root of the difficulty. It is best to not jump to conclusions before getting a proper diagnosis.
  • Yes, infertile women can have regular and average menstrual cycles. During a menstrual cycle, an egg is released from the ovaries. However, there can be issues with the quality, the transport, or the fertilization of the egg that may cause infertility. A regular period only ensures proper ovulation, but not the rest of the process.
Popular Questions & Answers

My lmp was 23rd april and I had my sixth miscarriage in march. I haven't got my period after 23rd april. Today I checked for pregnancy and a very faint line appeared. Can this be fake or correct.

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Confirm with blood test serum hcg-beta. Anyone who had 2 or more abortions- need detailed reports and some of them need to be done when patient is not pregnant. So meet gynecologist.

Am 19 years old girl that I was pregnant about 2 months. But this was an unwanted pregnancy. Can I get abortion what was the cost & details.

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
You can get an abortion done the cost differs from centre to centre. Drugs for termination of pregnancy can be taken only under the supervision of doctors licensed for termination, so meet gynecologist.

I had done sex 20th may with condom and lube. But unfortunately after sex when removing condom semens are stuck in my hand fingers then I rub this hand in my gf vagina upper side and 2fingers into her vagina. After 67 hours I take unwanted 72. After sex it's 6th day and after taking unwanted 72 it's 3+ day she don't have any period or withdrawal bleeding please help me. She have some tiredness, nausea,missed period, fatigue. Please help what's my pregnancy chances what should I do if she is pregnant? She is just 15.

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
After taking the high hormonal emergency pill one gets withdrawal bleeding 5 to 10 days later (means if taken near expected period date it gets delayed), and then a new cycle starts. If this does not happen as well as the period is missed then do ...
1 person found this helpful

I am 22 week pregnant. I am using susten 200 from my 14 week of pregnancy with my gyne advice. Now I am having watery discharge day after using the tablet. Is it safe to continue susten 200? Can I take the tablet orally?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG), MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, Clinical Embryology, FMAS.Laparoscopy, Diploma in Minimal Access Surgeries, Fellowship in ART
Gynaecologist, Bangalore
Hi. It is safe to use susten during pregnancy. It's common to have vaginal discharge after susten because of dissolve of capsules. But still need to rule out vaginal infection.
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